WASHINGTON - Democrats are seeking to slash the number of foreign workers who could come to the U.S. on temporary visas as the Senate prepares for another day of freewheeling debate over a bipartisan immigration measure.
A Republican proposal to crack down on illegal border crossers with mandatory prison sentences also was to be discussed Wednesday, as leaders in both parties sought to alter elements of the broad agreement that are drawing criticism from their core supporters.
The measure would toughen border security, give quick legal status to the estimated 12 million immigrants in the country unlawfully and create a new workplace verification system to bar undocumented workers from getting jobs.
It would create a point system for future immigration applicants that would place less emphasis on family connections and more on education and skills in demand by U.S. businesses.
This could get interesting if the GOP and Democrats start to compete on how to tighten up immigration. What is notably lacking is any attempt to enforce existing penalties against employers—and to stiffen those penalties to the point they'd actually be an effective deterrent.
The author is acting like this is a get tough bill—but when immigration rights are so very valuable, and the penalties for the employers profiting from illegal immigration are so lax, there will be plenty of poor people with nothing to loose willing to take the risk.